How Can We Love Effectively in a World of Suffering?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
First John 4:7
“Love points the way and Law makes the way possible.”
Dr. Ernest Holmes Science of Mind Textbook p. 43
As I am aware of the suffering of the Ukrainians this Christmas season, the starvation, the incredible cold, the wanton killing of civilians, I find the jolliness of Santa and holiday decorations in America very difficult to balance. Really, the situation between Russia and Ukraine is very like the politics of Rome and Judea 2000 years ago. At the time of Jesus’s birth, Rome was busy conquering the known world and would use any means at their disposal to obtain allegiance to the Roman Emperor. This sounds like Russia’s approach to Ukraine. Has nothing changed in 2000 years?
I know this opening might startle Religious Scientists, but if you will take a moment and think on the events of life on earth right now, you might feel the same way. What does our teaching offer for a time such as this? How can we use our teaching to feel better ourselves and to help a hurting world?
Let’s look at the wisdom from First John 4:7, which definitely reflects the teaching of Science of Mind: Love is the universal healer. Further in the epistle there is the sense that while it is important to recognize the lines between truth and error, it must always be done in a spirit of love. I would add that a spirit of love must be followed with acts of love.
A relatively easy application of this wisdom is to recognize that when there is an island of love - a home, school, office, business, or cold basement, where folks love one another - it buffers the suffering in the world. So the first suggestion is to actively love in all the groups to which we belong. Love our neighbors, ourselves, and what about our enemies?
How do we love in situations that would ordinarily dissolve us in despair? How do we love Putin? I pondered this and then I had an image of putting the child Putin in a corner of the stable where Jesus lay. I found I could offer love to that child. I will follow that by voting to support freedom and equality, and by sending my resources to places of need in the world. That is my way of countering oppression with acts of love.
And you? How can you spread the love of God in this wanting world? Let exploring this be our Christmas mission. Step by step we can do this together.
Blessings on your great and loving endeavors and may Christ live through you this Christmastime, for "Christ in You, is the Hope of Glory."
Love, Karyl and Lloyd Rev. Karyl Huntley-Sadler Rev. Dr. Lloyd George Tupper